"Haven between the hills"
Strategically located just 21 miles from Calais and continental Europe, Dover's thriving port and gleaming white cliffs have played an essential role in the development of England and its psyche. Ever since the Bronze Age, boats have carried cargo and passengers between the two mainlands and today the traffic totals some 18 million passengers. As such, the first and last glimpse of the land are the 'gleaming' white cliffs which beckon the traveller, 'from the long line of spray,/Where the sea meets the moon-blanch'd land,” (Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach ). So great is their imprint on the imagination that British poets have forever borrowed the Roman term 'Albion' meaning white to invoke their muse and sense of nationalism.
For many, Dover is merely a stepping stone to the holiday but to do this is to neglect some of country's great treasures. Great finds from the Bronze Age, such as a 3,550 year old boat are on display at the Dover Museum. Relics also remain from the next great era, the Roman period when the main road known as Watling Street ran between London and Dover. To aid navigation to Portus Dubris they built a lighthouse in A.D.50 which survives as one of the oldest buildings in Britain. It stands on Dover's premier tourist attraction, Dover Castle. A truly magnificent place, the castle presents a microcosm of the town's history with an Anglo-Saxon Church, a Norman motte or mound, a 12th century keep, Gothic chapel and a network of underground tunnels built in the Medieval age and last used by top military and government officials in WWII.
As a front-line defence in WWII, Dover was mercilessly bombed with the attacks flattening much of the city and its history. Nevertheless, tourists following the heritage trail will be delighted with gems such as the well-preserved, Roman Painted House and the working Crabble Corn Mill. Those who prefer the outdoors will enjoy walks in the nature reserve Samphire Hoe or along the Western Heights with its unusual, triple, spiral staircase, a Victorian relic originally built to connect their barracks to the town.
Dover : Sightseeing and Attractions
First used as a fortification by the early Britons, Dover Castle spans
some 2000 years of history. Soon after the conquest of Britain, the Romans built
an 80 foot Pharos or lighthouse overlooking their major port. This was in
turn used as a bell-tower by the Anglo-Saxons who built the church of
St-Mary-in-Castro next to it. While these ancient structures are still standing,
an early Saxon fort and fortifications by William the Conqueror are less easy to
identify. .. more
Admission: £8.95 Adults £4.50 Children
Address: Castle Hill, Dover, Kent
Postcode: CT16 1HU Street Map
Contact: PH 01304 211067
|Crabble Corn Mill|
The current working mill was built in 1812 on a site which has been used exclusively for mills since 1227. Claiming to be the 'best working mill of its kind in Europe', Crabble Corn Mill has six floors of machinery and displays... more
Admission: £2.50 Adults £2.00 Children
Address: Lower Road River, Dover, Kent
Postcode: CT17 0UY Street Map
Contact: PH 08701 453857
|Dover Transport Museum|
The place to visit for relics of bygone transportation, you'll get to see old cars, bicycles, buses and even a steam engine. Exhibits include the history of Dover's pioneering, public transportation system, a garage from the 1930's, a Maritime room and relics from the Kent coalfields.
Admission: £2.50 Adults £1.00 Children
Address: Willingdon Road, White Cliffs Business Park, Dover, Kent
Postcode: CT16 2HQ Street Map
Contact: PH 01304 822409
|Dover Museum & Bronze Age Boat Gallery|
Founded in 1836, the museum's treasures lie in a modern building fronted by the Victorian façade of the former Market Place. The pride and joy of the exhibits is a Bronze Age Boat discovered and excavated in 1992. Radio carbon dating has determined the boat's age to be some 3,550 years old, a contemporary of that other great British treasure, Stonehenge. Propelled by 18 paddlers, experts believe the boat would have been used to cross the Channel with cargo and passengers on board. You'll also find extensive displays on the Bronze Age with displays detailing their beliefs and rituals, lifestyle, technology and trade. There's plenty more to see besides. Dover's strategic importance has left relics of historic importance from every era all of which are displayed here.
Admission: £2.00 Adults £1.25 Children
Address: Market Square, Dover, Kent
Postcode: CT16 1PB Street Map
Contact: PH 01304 201066
|Langdon Cliffs the Gateway to the White Cliffs|
Accessible only on foot, your trip can combine Dover's white cliffs with a visit
to a historical, Victorian lighthouse. This National Trust property incorporates
5 miles of countryside and coastline offering spectacular views of the white
cliffs (100m) and the Dover Straits, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the
world. On your visit you can take in the South Foreland Lighthouse, a landmark
which would reinvent lighthouse technology on two separate occasions.
Michael Faraday, was a British scientist who discovered electro-magnetic
rotation, a find which would allow for the transformation of electricity into a
powerful technology. In his role as Scientific Advisor to Trinity House, he
sought to reduce fuel consumption and to develop an efficient, electrical system
in lighthouses. This system was first installed in the South Foreland and
Tynemouth lighthouses. When Marconi came along, he chose the same location for
his wireless experiments. He succeeded in sending the first ship-to-shore signal
and thereby enabled the protection of lives in extreme weather conditions. The
first message was received at the lighthouse from the East Goodwin lightship.
Soon after, the signal system was used to alert Ramsgate lifeboats that a ship
was in distress. This alone was a revolution of its time but a year later,
Marconi's system would sow the seeds that began the age of global information.
On 27th March 1989, he sent a morse code message 32 miles across the channel
from Wimereux in France to the South Foreland Lighthouse.
Admission: £2.40 Adults £1.20 Children
Address: Langdon Cliffs, Dover, Kent
Postcode: CT16 1HJ Street Map
Contact: PH 01304 202756
|Dover Tourist Information Centre|
Address: Old Town Gaol, Biggin Street, Dover, Kent
Postcode: CT16 1DL Street Map
Contact: PH 0130 4205 108
Read all 1 comment